By  KIAN ALBERTO      FEBRUARY 4, 2015

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On September 9, 2014, the technical personnel of this Office together with the representatives from the PMRB-RENRO, PENRO-PAMB, DENR IV-A PAWD and LGU – Antipolo City conducted inspection on the reported existence of Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining activities within the Marikina Watershed based on the research study published by the Sierra Madre Network Alliance. Field findings disclosed that small scale gold mining activity is active in Purok Libis, Sitio San Ysiro, Brgy. San Jose, Antiopolo City. A Cease and Desist Order(CDO) was immediately issued by RD Samuel T. Paragas, MGB IV-A Regional Director, to Mr. Francisco Bruce, illegal gold mining operator on the said area.

Interview with Mr. Francisco Bruce, illegal gold mining operator in the area

In order to eradicate proliferation of illegal mining within the inspected area, the technical personnel of this Office together with the representatives from the PMRB-RENRO Rizal and PENRO-PAWD-PAMB conducted a follow-up inspection of the said activity and to determine if there are other ASGM operators in the nearby areas on January 8, 2015.

Based from the field findings, it was found out that Mr. Francisco Bruce is still operating in the area and small scale gold mining activities are active in Purok Libis and Purok Casunugan, Sitio San Ysiro, Brgy. San Jose, Antiopolo City. As per record, said activities are not covered by mining permits. Moreover, corresponding GPS readings and subsequent plotting on the topographic map (NAMRIA 1:50,000 scale), disclosed that the active area is totally inside Proclamation No. 296- Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and falls under the category of “No-Go Mining Zones”. Hence such activity is illegal and prohibited. In view thereof and in order to eradicate proliferation of illegal mining within the inspected area, corresponding Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) were issued by RD paragas separately to the two (2) illegal operators in Purok Libis, Sitio San Ysiro, Brgy. San Jose, Antiopolo City – Mr. Leo Bruce and  Mr. Dominador Casilla –  and one (1) illegal operator in Purok Casunugan, Sitio San Ysiro, Brgy – Mr. Rene Nagamos.

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Mr. Casilla’s ASGM operation (left) and Mr. Nagamos’ ASGM operation (right)

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Product of Mr. Nagamos’ operation.